By Gary Sprung and Carolyn Hales. Also published as a letter to the editor in the Daily Camera on September 28, 2021.
"Boulder’s occupancy law says that no more than three unrelated people may share a home. It exempts families from this limit based on the incorrect assumption that families are cleaner, quieter, better neighbors. We live in a single-family, north Boulder neighborhood adjacent to a rental house. We’ve seen many tenants come and go. Among them, the four unrelated college students were the best neighbors. Outdoor parties were small and ended at a reasonable hour. The yard was kept neat and they had only two cars. In contrast, a big family renting the property had many outdoor guests and events, numerous cars, and rarely mowed the lawn, allowing weed seeds to freely spread to our gardens. Another family messed the backyard to the point we used the term 'junkyard.'
Neighbors affect each other through noise, unkempt landscapes, and cars parked on the street. We have laws to address the first two. The parking issue is addressed in neighborhoods under the city’s parking permit program, which could be enlarged to additional areas. Instead of forcing eviction on people trying to make ends meet by sharing dwellings, our government should focus on the real ways we affect each other. Regulating who lives in a home is not a legitimate function of government.
The Bedrooms Are For People initiative doesn’t eliminate government regulation of who can live with whom, but it is a step in the right direction. Please vote yes on Ballot Question 300."